Lunchtime in the summer is my favorite. It’s the time of day when I can step away from my office, go to a nearby park, sit in the grass, and draw.
The park I go to is nothing to inspirational – a few baseball diamonds, a playground off in the distance, some hiking trails, and a construction project of a nearby office. However, I’m fine with my uninspiring scenery – I can just sit in the sunshine and draw whatever comes to mind.
Last month, I attended an SCBWI-Wisconsin Workshop led by the talented Eliza Wheeler. Prior to the workshop, we were assigned to create a sketch of a scene inspired by our childhood. The first thing that came to mind was a Marble Run game my brother and I had as kids – colorful pipes that we could connect and drop marbles through. It wasn’t a huge part of my childhood, but it was the first thing I thought of and had so many creative ways to draw it.
I suppose I could have drawn a sketch of me playing with the game (and that actually sounds like a good idea in hindsight) but I went a different direction – I build a world inspired by the game. I created a city connected by tubes, wheels, and funnels. Eventually, it started looking more like a water park, so I took it in that direction, but still kept the marble idea in the back of my mind.
During the workshop we learned and explored ways to improve layouts, so I do have a second version in the works that plays more with perspective. However, I still really liked my original sketch, so I started bedazzling it first.
So this is my progress over about a month of lunch breaks – just me slowly working on building and inking a world inspired by marbles. (Cars and characters will be next months’ lunch breaks). Enjoy!
Today’s post is inspired by my garden and the two most common things I pick from it:
1.) Raspberries (the entire fence to my backyard is covered with bushes), and
2.) Japanese Beetles (covering the raspberry bushes that are covering the fence)
Now, if you saw a beetle, they are actually really pretty. They have a really cool metallic sheen, are a beautiful copper and teal color, and are bedazzled with some stripes and dots. However, when there are 10 sitting on one leaf near some super delicious looking raspberries and they all suddenly fly up towards me, I tend to lose my awe for their beauty and am simply GROSSED OUT!
So today’s post ignores the gross aspect and is inspired by the beauty of the beetles and my love for raspberries. Enjoy!
As I look at the calendar and realize that tomorrow is already the first day of summer, I am overwhelmed with the realization that I have been hibernating way too long. Not hibernating in the sense of living off body fat and sleeping all winter/spring (although that does sound lovely), but instead, have been hibernating creatively. In the midst of a year filled with an awesome book project and some exhausting things at my day-job, I have barely had time or motivation to create illustrations just for fun. And for that reason, I have let my social media sit dormant.
But that changes today! – No more hitting the snooze button, no more feeling lazy and unmotivated, and no more hibernating! I am crawling out of my den and getting back into the fresh air of blog posting. This week, I am creating a piece for Illustration Friday’s topic, “squirrel”.
Now, to make sure I don’t take away too much time away from my projects, I’m just sticking to black and white line art. I do love working in color, but it’s kind of relaxing just sitting and drawing in ink.
So onto my squirrel…
As I brainstormed how I should draw my squirrel and what I should have him doing, I thought back to my childhood and experiences with squirrels. For the most part, I had a pretty squirrel-free childhood – I’d see them running through the yard, fed them some Cheetos at a park, but no major interaction that I could recall. Then I remembered something my mom would always say in the car when we’d see a squirrel running across the road – “I don’t swerve for squirrels.”
Now, to my knowledge, my mom has never hit a squirrel, and I’m pretty sure she has slowed down for numerous squirrels that darted across the roads. The saying was more of a response to my dad’s driving and how he would avoid hitting a squirrel at all costs. So there was my inspiration – squirrels and cars!